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Funding available to support arts and culture organisations through COVID-19

Artists and arts organisations in Cumbria can now access additional funding that may offer vital support during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Significant funding has been announced by Arts Council England and other sources, such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help the county’s creative and cultural sector cope with the loss of income.

Jo Lappin, Chair of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) of the Local Resilience Forum, and Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), welcomed the support.

She said: “The creative and cultural sector is really important to Cumbria’s quality of life and part of what makes this a beautiful place to live, work and invest. The decision to close down our cultural assets has clearly had a serious impact on the sector and that’s why this package of support is so important.

“These are clearly unprecedented times and we need to do what we can to safeguard our cultural assets for the future. We would therefore strongly recommend that all cultural organisations in Cumbria, be that museums, galleries, performing arts or individual artists, consider how the funding available might support them.”

Richard Foster, Chair of the Cumbria Arts and Culture Network (CACN), said: “With almost the whole of the Cumbrian arts and culture sector in lockdown and sources of income dried up, speedy support from Arts Council England is timely and extremely welcome.

“Arts and cultural organisations are doing what they can from home to present exciting and unexpected digital experiences but the long term survival of our sector needs the help of government and other partners and we are pleased at Arts Council's early intervention".

Andrew Mackay, Director of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle, added: “That the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England have recognised the crisis within the sector so quickly and are being so supportive is to be commended.

“Both organisations are doing a great deal to ensure that the organisations and individual creatives can survive. The financial challenges are unprecedented and for some will be catastrophic so every offer of help is vital.

“For museums considering applying for ACE emergency funding, Museum Development North West (MDNW) are offering to help write grant applications. Museums should have been made aware of this directly but if they haven’t I am happy to be contacted via email so that I can put them in touch with the people at MDNW --

“The NLHF emergency support will provide resources to previous grant recipients to help manage risk, protect heritage assets and, perhaps crucially, provide assistance to help redesign business plans so that the financial implications of the pandemic are fully represented.”

Detailed guidance can be found by accessing a number of online resources.

Arts Council England (ACE) is offering three discrete funding streams, two of which are available from today (April 9):

In addition, the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund has been set up to support the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund will address immediate pressures over the next three to six months. It will be open for applications within the next few days and is set at £50 million (between £3,000 and £50,000 per application) --

Further funding opportunities are listed on Sectors page of the CLEP website -

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